Dec 26, 2012

Learned in 2012 - Farting

I've reached the point in my life where the embarrassment of farting in front of other people is outweighed by the discomfort of holding in a fart. I think through the year; various times passerby in the grocery store or coworkers have heard me fart and I only think "meh, better out than in," rather than being filled with overwhelming shame I would have in years past. I like to think this is me being more comfortable/confident with myself, but it's probably just an indication that I'm getting grosser as the years go on. As a note, I still try to avoid having other people hear/smell my farts, when possible. I do recognize that there is a tinge of rudeness to farting in front of others. However, I'm not going to go to great lengths to avoid it. Just stepping aside a bit is good enough, I think.

Dec 20, 2012

Learned in 2012 - Reading

In 2012, I learned to read again. I always loved reading, but somewhere in my college years, I stopped reading more than two or three books a year. In 2012, I read 15 books. A lot of that can probably be attributed to getting a Nook toward the end of last year. I've talked about this before, but it makes significantly easier to obtain and read new books when it's electronic.

I've also discovered a huge love of non-fiction. I'm pretty sure I've read more non-fiction books this year than ever before in my life unless you count DK Eyewitness books as a kid. I love learning things; every little piece of knowledge in some way or other leads to better understanding of the world around us. And I'm definitely the sort of person who craves understanding. I've talked about many of the books I've read this year in this blog, but we're just going to do a recap. Because I still have half-an-hour left of my lunch break and nothing else to do:
  • A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin - I read four of these books this year after watching and loving the first season of Game of Thrones (which is based on these books). I feel like fantasy novels are pretty hit and miss and I don't read them often because I don't know how to tell if they're going to be good or not. I loved these books, though. There is tons of political intrigue to get through the battles and other (to me) boring stuff. And George R.R. Martin is very good at surprising his readers with plot twists and character reveals and unexpected actions, which makes these a very compelling read.
  • Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live By Jay Mohr - I read this while we were writing/producing/performing our first sketch shows and because I am really bad about over-researching everything, I spent a lot of time reading about sketch comedy. I found Jay Mohr's story very entertaining and very human; this book was enjoyable outside of filling a research role. And, of course, despite all of the crap he had to deal with being a part of the world, it was also fun to fantasize about working with a bunch of hilarious, creative people to produce something for the world to see (and probably think is stupid, but nonetheless...).
  • Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales - See Gasping for Airtime.
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell - You've probably heard this book raved about by someone you know. It feels like it comes up a lot in conversation with all sorts of people. Because it's one of those books that changes how you think about everything. The basic premise of the book is that people who are successful for often surprising reasons. Kind of like Guns, Germs, and Steel, but with modern individuals instead of nations. It's written more as a collection of essays covering different areas of success/failure in our world. The chapter on why plane crashes happen was probably my favorite. Super interesting. Highly recommended.
  • Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger - By far the trashiest reading I did this year. It was a book lying out at Trevor's grandmother's house when we went to visit her back in April and I read in in two days while chilling at her house. The book barely qualifies as non-fiction, tons of the stories in it are backed by absolutely no research, but they were fun nonetheless. Just to look through all of the pictures of old silent movie stars made this book worthwhile to me. I suppose I learned a little bit about censorship laws in old Hollywood and that sort of thing, but the book is really just trashy celebrity stories, only slightly classier since the celebrities are from the Golden Age or whatever.
  • The Devil in the White City: Muder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson - Going back to my over-research tendencies, I read this back when we were pretty certain we were moving to Chicago (still a possibility, but LA is more likely). The book covers the 1893 World Fair in Chicago in parallel with the story of the Chicago-based serial killer H.H. Holmes. It reads almost like fiction, I found myself constantly wanting to know what happens next.
  • City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America by Donald L. Miller - This book was sited quite a bit in The Devil in the White City, and I needed to know more. This book gives a broader history in a more academic format of 19th century Chicago (and earlier, but it's the 19th century stuff that's the best). Apparently I am really into Industrial Revolution/Progressive Era America. And Chicago was, in a lot of ways, the center of all of that. I also learned way more about architecture than I ever expected to and it wasn't nearly as boring as I've always thought that subject was. And why hasn't there ever been a movie made about the Haymarket Riot? Great story that I had never heard before.
  • Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman - Growing up the star Mormon seminary student that I was, I always felt that I knew Joseph Smith's story well, but I learned a lot from this book. I'd only really learned anything from church sources, which focuses on very different things than a historical biography. I was interested in this book in particular because it is written by an active Mormon believer, but he doesn't shy away at all from the more contentious issues in the life of Joseph Smith. The reviews on Amazon had a bunch of people who were like "Burn it! It's too harsh on The Holy Prophet!" and a bunch of people who were like "Burn it! It's thinly-veiled missionary Mormon propaganda!" So I figured it's pretty middle-ground. I could get into a lengthy Mormonism discussion here, but I won't.
  • Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog: A 3-Step Positive Dog-Training Program by Julie A. Bjelland - This books was a little bit useless. I read it for obvious reasons. I got a puppy and then realized that it's one of the hardest things I've ever done. The book was okay. I think Winston's too naturally aggressive to use an almost completely reward-based system like the one laid out in this book. The techniques she laid out helped a lot with training tricks, but were pretty worthless when it comes to correcting bad behavior (at least in Winston's case). Probably the most important thing I got out of this book was just a better understanding of dog psychology and what they really need from humans in terms of consistency and exercise and all that.
  • Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden - I find North Korea endlessly fascinating. Mostly because the mindset of people there is so utterly foreign to my modern Western brain. I read this after Trapper recommenced it, and I'm just going to link to his review because I'm lazy.
  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay - I'm glad I read this, but it was kind of dull reading. It was published in 1841 and you can tell in the language and approach to history (for example, there is no delving into psychology whatsoever, which seems odd to the modern person). The chapters at the beginning about financial bubbles are super interesting, particularly since they have easily recognized modern parallels. The alchemy chapters almost made me stop reading the book. It's interesting at first but then you realize it keeps going for 120 or so pages of essentially the same story over and over. But then there were more fun topics at the end, like the Crusades and Witch Mania. Overall interesting stuff, but I wanted more analysis with the stories.
  • Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman - I'm technically not finished with this book, but I will be by the end of the year. I really have no connection to Scientology at all, but that doesn't mean it isn't fascinating stuff. It's been a good exercise in relating to people. It's really easy to see Scientology as this obviously made-up, completely corrupt "religion", but if I push myself a little, I can see where Scientology's followers and leaders are coming from (I could get into a lengthy Mormonism discussion here, but I won't).
And now a question for you dear readers: what should I read in 2013?

Dec 17, 2012

Learned in 2012

I was going to rip off my sister Marsha's post about things she's learned in 2012, but once I started writing I knew there were too many things for me to ever feel like it was a completed post and it would never get posted. So the plan is for the rest of the year, I'll cover a few topics in their own posts. This will also help add to my total number of posts for the year, since it looks like this is going to be my lowest ever since I started blogging eight years ago. Not that that matters at all. And yet I keep thinking about it, so maybe it does.

Anyway, 2012 has been an eventful year and I look forward to thinking about maybe posting about the ways I've learned and grown this year.

When I was younger, I always figured you reach some sort of "adult" point in life where you stop learning and growing and life is stable and you don't wonder what the next year will bring because it will be roughly the same as the last. So far haven't hit that. I'm beginning to think it's a completely imagined concept. I've had plenty of life changes lately and don't see the rate of change (as modeled by a derivative function?) changing much.

Dec 14, 2012

Health Insurance...I think I'll pass?

I turned 26 this year which means I'm no longer covered by my parent's health insurance. It's open enrollment time for benefits at work, so it's time sign up and get some insurance to cover myself like a big girl.

Tell me if I'm being an idiot, but I don't think I'm going to do it. The insurance rates are $260/mo for just me and $514/mo if I wanted to cover me and Trevor. Which is way more than I can imagine ever spending on health care. In the last five years, I doubt our household hasn't accrued more than $400/yr in health expenses.* We're fairly healthy and fairly safe. The odds of the health insurance plan paying off are pretty low it seems.

Now, I know, insurance isn't designed to pay itself off every time (or insurance companies wouldn't even be in business); it's there to protect you in case of surprise accident or illness. Maybe I'm dumb and young and think I'm invincible, but it almost feels like health insurance is a scam preying upon people's fear of medical emergency. What are really the odds of us having something happen this year that leads to expenses of more than $6,168 (the amount we'd be paying for coverage for both of us)?

The most likely "medical emergency" I could see us running into is if I got pregnant. Oh, but wait, the plan my work is offering has a $8,000 maternity deductible before they start covering anything pregnancy-related. So pregnancy would be super expensive anyway.

I don't know. It seems worth it to take my chances and just pay out of pocket if anything comes up. Health expenses can be paid out of savings if need be and I'll be able to save more if I'm not paying for insurance. Then if we don't have medical expenses come up, it's money saved instead of money thrown away.

Again, tell me if I'm being an idiot.

*Human health expenses, at least. Veterinarian bills are a completely different story. There's some some sort of dog or cat medical emergency probably twice a year, not to mention vaccines and spay/neuter costs. Pet health insurance would pay itself off in our household.

Nov 20, 2012

Quick Update

I'm still alive. Here's what's been keeping me busy:

  • I'm learning a new position at work and training someone on my old position.
  • Winston got really sick with parvo, then better, then sick again, but now he's back to his old annoying self and destroying everything in the cutest way possible.
  • We're having our first OCD show since June next week. So all hours that are not spent working or sleeping or dog-rearing are at ComedySportz.
  • I turned 26 last week. I think being an even number is more important than being a perfect square, so I guess that's okay.

Nov 4, 2012


Time to come clean. Having a dog is horrible. They look so cute and I've always heard such great things about having a dog. But that is clearly all lies. Three and a half weeks into being a puppy mama, and I often feel like I've made the worst mistake of my life. Having a puppy is the most stressful thing I have ever done. I'm in tears at least once a day because I don't think I can handle it any more. I took the day off on Friday because my night/morning was so full of puppy stress that I just couldn't make myself get ready for work and go. All my dreams are nightmares about things going wrong with the puppy.

I feel ridiculous whenever I tell people how miserable I am. The response is always "Oh, well, puppies do that." I've never been a dog owner before, so I don't know if this is just a particularly bad dog or if I'm just particularly bad at being a dog owner or what, but I swear it can't be this hard for everyone or dogs would not be as loved by our species as they are.

Both of my arms and legs look like the picture above. He bites hard enough to draw blood several times a day. Tons of my clothes have been ruined. Housetraining accidents and over-zealous barking can be annoying, but I can deal with those okay. It's the incessant biting that I can not handle. I consider myself a very patient person in general, but I lose my cool with this creature over his biting far more than I care to admit.

And the time commitment is larger than I imagined it would be. I feel like nearly every second of my non-working, non-sleeping hours are dedicated to taking care of Winston. I come home from work, clean up whatever messes Winston made that day while I was gone, make dinner, walk Winston, and it's already bedtime. Everything outside of that suffers. I haven't gone to improv workshop since getting this dog. I'm not spending as much time with Trevor as I would like. Our sex frequency has decreased dramatically. I haven't been working out anymore.

All of this misery for what?

The cutest, sweetest little guy you ever met. Yes, my carpet looks like that most of the time from all the little pieces of leaves and god-knows-what-else Winston tears up all the time, but look at that face. When he's being calm and cuddly, he so wonderful. And he just follows me around the house and I love that. And he is really good about some things. He sleeps pretty well in his crate; he only has to get up once or twice a night now, which isn't too bad, and he goes right back to sleep after we let him out to potty. And he is very good at "sit". None of the other commands we're trying to teach him are sticking quite as well, but I'll just be proud of his "sit".

I guess it's just continuing to take this one day at a time. Things will get better, right?

Oct 13, 2012

Welcome Winston

As of Thursday, we are puppy owners. Here's our little guy (I can pretty much only get pictures of him when he's sleeping):

He's already been such a joy and such a pain. Everybody told me that puppies are a lot of work, but I knew that my puppy would be different. He would be so smart and so good and never wake us up at night or terrorize the cats or go potty on the carpet or chew on things he isn't supposed to or jump on people or smell bad. Because he is my dog. He would know better.

Nope. He's a lot of work. Worth it, of course, but a lot of work. We're starting slowly but surely to get the ground rules set. It's mostly just a game of patience, patience, patience.

Based on his appearance, we're guessing that Winston's father is at least part Bluetick Coonhound (we know his mother is a Free-Lance Bulldog, but we can only guess on the father). Winston's hound-looking features have upped the quoting of the "I'm a hound dog" line from "The Fox and the Hound" in our household by roughly 32845600%. Which is okay, because it's so cute:

Oct 5, 2012

Racial Land Post

Car ride home with coworkers today. As a note, I generally like these people. But wow, these are not who you want to talk politics with.

A: So I was telling my boyfriend "I know you don't like Obama because he's black and has a bunch of dumb ideas, but..."
M: Whoa whoa whoa, Obama being black should not have anything to do with it.
A: Oh I know that. My boyfriend just can't get past it, though. It shouldn't matter if someone's black, white, Mexican...
M: Oh no, I would never vote for a Mexican president.
Me: I love that you say that after calling A out for the black thing.
M: I'm just saying, if we had a Mexican president he'd have like fifteen f***ing famiily members living the White House with him, you know?

In my mind, we live Post-Racial Land. Sometimes real life destroys that illusion.

Sep 27, 2012

Accessory Acquisitions

So I've been pretty good about not buying clothes I don't need lately, but I've been making up for it by breaking the bank on accessory purchases. They add great touches of new to old outfits. This month's acquisitions:
Necklace and shoes are from Charlotte Russe. Purse is from Fabric Mill on Provo Center St. They have a little boutique in one corner of the fabric shop that I highly recommend for bags and jewelry. I was looking for a purse for forever (my old one was falling to pieces) and couldn't find anything that fit my long list of specifications. But then, go figure, Fabric Mill had multiple bags that I really wanted.

I feel like I should post about fashion stuff more because I always like that on other people's blogs. Trevor might think it's dumb, but he has a penis and doesn't know any better.

Sep 15, 2012

Self Improvement

This week I have:
  • Eaten only homemade meals (no eating out, no pre-made microwavables).
  • Gotten up early and exercised for an hour before work on three different days.
  • Spent at least half-an-hour/day on housework.
  • Spent at least an hour/day reading non-fiction.
Hoping to maintain and add this week:
  • More housework. We're in a better spot than we've been, but this place is still a bit of a dump.
  • More writing. I've got a lot of ideas bouncing around for sketches and such, but they're worthless until I put them down in some sort of edited and share-able format.

Sep 14, 2012

Snippet of Tonight's Internetting

Okay, Hulu, I know we haven't seen much of each other during the horrible summer television months, but fall is coming and I'm ready to see what you've got for me. Hmm, nothing is particularly appealing about Guys with Kids, but Hulu wants me to watch and comedy pilots are always interesting as someone who likes to fantasize about writing one but never gets past two pages of script. Click play. "Guys with Kids was taped in front of a live studio audience." Uhoh. A live studio audience is laughing because three guys are (surprise!) wearing babies in baby carriers. In a show called Guys with Kids! That every single promotional image from has featured men carrying babies in baby carriers! Nope. Close tab. I guess it's back to fantasy real estate shopping.

Seriously. I get that multi-cam is cheaper to produce, but does it mean you have to have a laugh track?

Aug 29, 2012


  • I wear my hair wet to work pretty much every single day. Looking more professional will never be worth the extra 15 minutes of sleep it would cost to dry it in the morning.
  • I have watched all 2.5 of the currently-released seasons of Pretty Little Liars this month. Yes, that averages out to about 85 minutes a day. Yes, the show is, technically, terrible. I love it.
  • I can't think of a third confession at the moment and really don't care.

Aug 16, 2012


A couple weeks ago, my boss Cathi discovered that her dog is pregnant and expressed concerns about finding homes for the puppies once they're born and weaned. This was exactly the excuse I was looking for.

Trevor and I have talked a lot about getting a dog for the last couple years. There are many reasons not to, of course: we already have three cats which should be plenty of pets, dogs take a fair amount of time/money to take care of, it's much harder to find a place to rent if you have a dog, etc.

But seriously, we just needed an excuse to push us over the edge, because PUPPIES ARE SO CUTE. And dogs give you a different kind of love than cats do, and what's wrong with wanting more love? And they're still cheaper/easier than having a baby, right? So it's still a somewhat responsible decision, right? But yes, the biggest thing on the "pros" list is PUPPIES ARE SO CUTE. I feel it's an okay reason to do something, though. If it's worth some inconvenience to us, then it's worth it. So we're getting one. So excited.

Cathi's dog had her babies yesterday. She had two boys and two girls, but one of the girls died pretty soon after being born (sad). So there are two boy dogs and one girl dog for us to pick from. The mother is a bulldog and the father is a mystery (Cathi's dog escaped to the wild for a few days a while ago and came back knocked up). They are all black and white. They're too little to really tell what they'll look like yet (the pictures I've seen so far just consist of unintelligible blobs of black and white fur), but whatever they look like, I know we'll be completely in love with our new little guy/girl.

I've been looking at pictures of black and white puppies all day, trying to guess what our newest family member will look like. Did I mention I was excited?

We're kind of leaning toward getting a boy and naming him Winston. But part of me wants a girl one so that I can tie bows on her and tell her she's pretty. We'll see.

Aug 5, 2012

Bullet Post

  • I took a Myers-Briggs personality test (inspired by Betty's post a while back) the other day and I'm apparently I'm an INTP. I think this means I need to lie on any personality test I may have to take in the future to get a job. We INTPs are not good for the kind of work I'm qualified for. We "work best alone", "dislike mundane details", "have no desire to lead or follow", and "are not particularly interested in the practical application of our work". At least we're smart? Oh yeah, nobody cares how smart the receptionist is.
  • Current celebrity obsessions: Lena Dunham (because she's awesome) and Taylor Momsen (I can't explain why at all).
  • Trevor went to Chicago for a week last month and after talking to a lot of people involved in the improv comedy world there, we're kind of playing around with moving to LA instead. Chicago is a place you go to improve your craft and get noticed, not a place to settle down; anybody who "makes it" from Chicago ends up in Los Angeles or New York. The general consensus seems to be that Trevor is already plenty noticeable and already has a ton of performing experience (he's been averaging about three shows a week for over a year now), and he could get his career going faster by skipping the Chicago step.
  • I definitely eat like a girl. All I ever want is vegetables and desserts.
  • This weekend I started working at ComedySportz on a part-time basis. I'm there all the time anyway, so when a position opened up for someone to take tickets/sell concessions/etc., I figured I might as well get paid something for it. Half the job is just sitting behind the concession booth and watching shows, so it's pretty chill. It won't be a game-changing amount of extra money coming in, but every little bit helps. It's actually more money than Trevor gets paid for doing shows, which doesn't seem fair in the sense that basically anybody with a pulse could do my job and very few people have the audience-drawing power that Trevor does. But I guess most of the performers are really there for the love of doing improv comedy and would do it for free, while nobody just really has a passion for cleaning theaters and writing down ticket reservations.

Jul 14, 2012

Bountiful Basket

Bountiful Basket contents + Fidel
Last week, my dear friend Rachael posted about getting a Bountiful Basket on facebook, and I was intrigued. Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit co-op designed to help people eat more fruits and vegetables for less money. Basically, you pay $15 ($25 if you want all organic) and get a basket full of mixed produce once a week (you don't have to order every week, but you have the option to order/pickup once a week). The produce you get varies from week-to-week, but it's always about half fruit and half vegetables. The website says the produce you get retails for about $50. My guess would be more like $30, but that's still a terrific deal.

So I did my first pick-up this morning, and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Getting up at 7:30am on a Sat was strange, but surprisingly kind of nice. (I still have so much Saturday left! And I've already done something productive!) The pick-up went smoothly and I'm excited about eating the food I got (while writing this, I've already consumed a peach).

The Contents of My Bountiful Basket + How I Feel About Them
  • 1 canary melon - I have no idea what this thing is, but I've never met a fruit I didn't like, so I look forward to try it. If I keep doing this basket thing, I'll probably be exposed to all sorts of fruits and vegetables I haven't tried. Exciting.
  • 4 bananas - These will be gone instantly. If there is easy-to-eat fruit in my house, I am eating it. It's just the best snack.
  • 8 peaches - See above.
  • 8 plums - See above.
  • 6 oz blueberries - I love blueberries and never buy them because they're fairly pricey for the amount of fruit you get. I'll be designing some sort of dessert around these soon.
  • 1 bunch kale - Kale is supposedly the most nutritious green, but it's so strongly flavored that I'll probably mix it with some romaine or something in salads. I don't think I've ever bought kale before, I'll need to do some recipe research.
  • 5 ears corn - I'm kind of meh about fresh corn (I think it tastes better canned, I know this makes me a Bad Person, but I can't help it). Trevor, however, loves fresh corn-on-the-cob like nothing else and complains that we don't buy it enough. So I'm excited for him.
  • 2 zucchinis - I'll have to try making some zucchini bread. Because it's the only way zucchini tastes good.
  • 3 tomatoes - I wish there were more. I go through tomatoes like mad. Apparently these ones are organic (I didn't get the organic basket, but these have a sticker saying they're organic); I wonder if they'll taste special?
  • 1 head cauliflower - I need to buy more ranch.
  • 2 bunches radishes - I don't know what on earth to do with this many radishes. I like radishes, but they're kind of a garnish in my mind, not something I need a ton of. Also, do people do stuff with the greens? I'll have to do some research to make sure I use my bunches here productively.
Overall, good experience. I'll probably do another pick-up in a couple weeks.

If you're interested in Bountiful Baskets, you can see if there's a location in your area here. They've got a lot of sites in mountain west states, and a few others scattered about the country. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has good/bad experiences with them.

Note: This isn't locally-grown food. If that's what you're looking for, go to a farmer's market or join a CSA. This is about cutting out the middle mad and saving money to eat fruit and vegetables, but it's still your typical grocery store produce. I just mention this because a lot of reviews I've read complain about how they're not trying to save the environment or whatever. But that's not the goal, so chill out.

Jul 2, 2012

Embarrassing Music Confessions

  1. Despite being a rather large fan of both Nate Ruess with The Format and Andrew Dost with Anathallo back in the day, I never really listened to their new band, (the now very mainstream) fun. until they had a song covered by the Glee cast. There goes any street cred I could've ever claimed having seen fun. band members in concert before they were big...or whatever hip kids get street cred for.
  2. You know how whenever "Call Me, Maybe" comes on the radio everybody tears their hair out and screams "Nobody ever wants to hear this irritating song again! Who are they still playing this drivel for?!" Me. The answer is me. Before Carly Rae Jepsen came into my life, I missed her so bad.

Jun 26, 2012

Bye, Nora

As you've heard by now, because you are on the internet, Nora Ephron died today. My first thought : She was 71? She looked pretty good for her age. The rest of my thoughts were about her work, though, so don't worry, I'm only 18% shallow.

I love love love Nora Ephron. "You've Got Mail" and "When Harry Met Sally...". have been my comfort movies for years. Movies I can say every line along with and still enjoy watching them.

I'm always in agony over whether Sally and Harry are really going to get together. Watch it; I know you'll love it. (Probably only Laura will get this reference.)

I've actually been thinking about Nora Ephron a lot lately, even before tonight's news. I've started work writing a romantic comedy the last couple months (I hereby solemnly swear not to become Always-Talk-About-Their-Screenplay Person, but it was relevant here, so don't hate me) and she's obviously one of the masters of the genre. One of very few, really; there are not many good romantic comedies out there, but when they are done right, they're the best (which is why I think it would be a good writing exercise to try to write one, but I digress...).

Ephron's characters are so true-to-life and relatable, but still so unique. And there is so much genuine laugh-out-loud humor all over the place. Not a ton of joke-y humor, but the (to me) more meaningful "funny because it's true" sort of humor. I could go into in-depth analysis mode here, but I've already read articles that do a better job of summing up what makes Ephron a great writer than I would in a blog post that I'm writing when I should be sleeping. So we'll just say Nora Ephron is terrific and a legend and will always be an inspiration to me. So thanks, Nora (since I know your disembodied spirit is totally reading this blog post).

Jun 25, 2012

I Can Show You Nice Cats. Shining, Shimmering, Splendid.

My cats get more terrible songs made up about them than any other creatures on the planet. Trevor and I are both extremely guilty (though I'm probably worse). The basic rules are take whatever song is in your head and randomly insert love for the cats. Only worry about rhyming if you really have to.

"There can be miracles, when you are fluffy. Though hope is frail, we love fluffy cats."

"Tonigh-igh-igh-ight, Julius is a cat. So let's set the world on fire. Because he's so good. And strong and handsome and orange."

"Tell me why-y. Tiberius is best cat ever. Tell me why-y. Tied with Julius and Fidel. Tell me why. We have so many good cats in our family. Cause I want to pet their soft fur."

"Hey, I just met you. And you're a good cat. So let me love you. And be my good cat."

Jun 8, 2012

20 Adorable One-Piece Swimsuits Under $50

Faithful reader, MacKenna, asks: "Places to find cute, affordable one-piece swimsuits? Anybody?"

Sure, she wasn't asking me, specifically, (I should have cut out the "Anybody?" bit if I wanted it to make this look like she came to my blog for fashion advice), but the results of my research following her facebook-posed question could not be contained in a mere status comment, so here we are.

I always really want to buy swimsuits at this time of year, but can't justify it. I have six swimsuits and four of them even fit me well enough to be worn in public. Which is plenty, considering I go swimming like eight times a year on average. But they are such a fun article of clothing. You can go crazier with patterns and colors with swimsuits than other things for whatever reason. The last swimsuit I bought is snakeskin pattern. Snakeskin! Who'd've thought I'd ever wear anything in such an ugly print? But I love it on that swimsuit.

Anyway, MacKenna's question allowed me to justify "shopping" for swimsuits, within the rules of "one-piece" and my self-imposed budget of $50 ("affordable"). So for that, I must thank her.

Here are 20 favorites found today, from various sources:

Florals: 1) H&M $34.95, 2) JC Penney $22 
One-Shouldered: 3) Target $34.99, 4) Target $39.99
Black on White: 5) Urban Outfitters $44.99, 6) American Apparel $45
Brights: 7) Target $49.99, 8) American Apparel $31.50
Navy Patterns: 9) Downeast $49.99, 10) JC Penney $30
Vintage Cuts: 11) JC Penney $42, 12) Etsy $40
Tribal Prints: 13) Urban Outfitters $39.99, 14) Macy's $47.99
Ruffles: 15) Etsy $49.99, 16) Target $39.99
Animal Prints: 17) dELiAs $34.50, 18) Target $49.99
Polka Dots: 19) Unique Vintage $50, 20) dELiAs $34.50

Jun 1, 2012

Worst Hyperbole Ever

  • OCD Show #2 went well and I actually wasn't nearly as nervous as expected when it came to actually performing. Last post came out of that terrible time in the rehearsal process after the material has been worked too much to be funny to me anymore, but before I actually have my lines down. So I'm just stressing to learn something that I'm convinced won't even be any good. Worst thing ever. But I got through it and we got overwhelmingly positive audience reaction again, of course. Because we rock. And now I'm excited to start writing phase for Show #3. Writing is my personal favorite part of the process. Oh, and to plug myself really fast, the repeat of Show #2 will be June 21st.
  • In my quest for Chicago history knowledge, I read Devil in the White City last month and found I'm fascinated with the Chicago World's Fair (I didn't expect that to be more interesting than the serial killer stuff, but it totally was). I decided next to read City of the Century which was referenced often in Devil and includes earlier Chicago history to boot. However, City wasn't available on the Nook, so I had to buy a paper version. Worst thing ever. It takes two hands to hold this thing open comfortably! How did I ever live like this? I'm only about 75 pages into the thing and I never want to read another paper book again. Other than the unwieldiness, it's very well-written and informative so far, so I'll press on, but still. Awful.
  • Our apartment complex changed the laundromat schedule last week to Mon-Sat 8am-6pm. Which means I can only do laundry on Saturdays, since I have a normal human being work schedule. When the schedule was 8am-11pm Sun-Sat, I did my laundry late on weekdays because it was impossible to get a free washer on the weekends. I can only imagine it'll be way worse tomorrow with the change. Probably the best bet is to be ready to go right at 8am, which is not how I want to spend my Saturdays. Worst thing ever. Seriously this time. Come on, The Boulders Apartments, I'm okay with the fact that all my neighbors are illegal immigrants or meth addicts, and that the place catches on fire all the time but please, just let me do my laundry.

May 23, 2012


We're doing a brand new OCD sketch show next week and if it wouldn't ruin everybody else's lives I'd happily tell them I'm pulling out and they have to recast everything I'm in. They can perform sketches I wrote if they want, but don't tell anybody I wrote them. I don't belong in the business of entertaining people.

The abstract idea of being on a stage acting/singing/dancing/playing an instrument/giving a speech/whatever is highly appealing because I, of course, crave validation. I am talented and interesting and worth attention! Look at me! Look at me! But when it actually comes down to it, I am far too nervous to be a performer sort. I'm not nearly as talented and interesting as I think I am, so it's best to just imagine how great I'd be on a stage than actually have to prove anything.

I feel sick to my stomach before/during every practice for sketch group. Just practice. With people I consider dear friends at this point. But I can't help the nerves. They just happen.

This is one trait where my husband and I are polar opposites. Trevor loves performing. He gets nervous on occasion, but has some mystical way of feeding off that energy positively that I definitely do not have. A lot of it is probably simple confidence. He knows he's a powerhouse of talent. Everybody does. I guess that's why he's the one pursuing this professionally and I'm just along for the fun of it.

Because it is so fun. Okay, okay, I really love it. I wanted to jump ship the whole week leading up to our last new-material show and it went just fine. It went amazingly, actually. I didn't exactly enjoy doing that show the first time, but I was proud of it. And the repeat show was a blast because I was finally relaxed. It'll probably be the same this time around. I guess that's okay.

To our potential audience, at least, I can pretty confidently promise a spectacular show from your perspective. If you live in the area, you'll probably get a facebook invite, but for the record: 8pm, May 31st, ComedySportz Provo. Be there.

For those of you not in the area, I've heard your requests, and I'm sorry, OCD doesn't have any sort of proper web presence as of yet. We've been talking about a YouTube channel since starting this thing, but I don't have a ton of control over that since I'm not the one who has any sort of filming equipment, and it just hasn't happened yet. We've got several sketches that are worthy of filming and plenty more in the works. Someday. Look forward to it.

Apr 23, 2012

Need More Fluffy

I took this dog breed selector quiz last night, to see what sort of dog I should get. Not because I'm planning on getting a dog anytime soon, but because research of dog breeds combines my two favorite things: 1) planning in extreme depth only the most trivial parts of my future, and 2) pictures of cute animals on the internet.

The winner: the American Eskimo, a dog I hadn't heard of before, but now need desperately.

So fluffy nice.
Despite the name, this breed is actually German, so we would name our puppy something awesome like Otto or Freidrich or Angela Merkel.

Now for the agonizing 4+ years wait until I've got the time and money and yard and living-somewhere-with-year-round-good-dog-walking-weather-ness that I'll require before one of these little guys is mine.

Apr 9, 2012



I haven't really felt like posting. You probably already figured this out since I haven't posted for the last month. But you know, in case you're stupid, that's what's been going on. Trapper and I made a deal that if I write a meaningful blog post at least once a week for two months he'll start his own blog. We made that deal weeks ago and I still haven't posted until today. So I don't know what to tell you.

But occasionally I feel guilty (which I shouldn't because of all the stupid things I feel guilty about, this should be pretty low priority, but you know...), so here I am.

Books, Again

I broke the pattern in book reading described in the last post. The latest non-fiction book I read was Outliers, which was fantastic (and not about or by SNL alumni).

I believe the next non-fiction trend will be books about Chicago history; I bought a couple the other day. Because I love researching things to death. I suppose I could move to Chicago (we're planning for May 2013) without understanding the cultural effects of the Great Fire or the intricacies involved in putting on the 1893 World's Fair or the life stories of all the major players in the mob culture there. But could I really?

Right now I'm about half-way through the fourth Game of Thrones book. The series is actually called "A Song of Ice and Fire", of course, but since I knew the HBO show before the books, I'll probably always call them "Game of Thrones". I always used to tease Trevor about his fantasy books when we were dating, but there are actually some really terrific ones out there. I'm glad I've had him around to recommend the better ones to me. And having the Nook is very helpful because my #1 biggest problem with reading multiple 1,000-page books with a massive number of characters is keeping all the names straight. But on the Nook, I can just search "Ser Arthur Dayne" or whatever when someone comes up and figure out who they are.


I kind of want to go blonde again. When I tried it last year, I didn't have the patience/money to go as light as I wanted (which would've taken several salon trips to avoid destroying my hair) and then got bored and went black again in October. Warm weather makes me want light hair, though. I cut it chin-length a few weeks ago (I know, I know, I'm supposed to have pictures anytime I change my hair dramatically, well too bad, I don't have anything), so dying would be somewhat less time-consuming/expensive than it was with the massive amounts of long hair I had last time. What I'm feeling for this summer is a color/cut like Brea Grant's here. Except with shorter bangs. Or something. I don't know. That's the trouble with hair, I always want the color/length I don't have.


I've been getting more housework done lately because I've been listening to a lot of podcasts. I have a hard time just doing housework. It isn't mentally stimulating enough for me, so I let it suffer. That and I'm super lazy, but we'll go with the excuse that makes me sound smart. But podcasts give my brain something to consume while my hands are busy. Listening to interviews and stories and such is way more entertaining to me than listening to music; the time goes by quickly and I get a lot done. Highly recommended. Nerdist is my current favorite.

    Mar 10, 2012

    Update #8439

    Still alive and posting because I worry that if I ever go more than a month without blogging everybody will forget I exist.

    My non-working/non-sleeping hours the last month or two have been spent mostly at ComedySportz for various things or in my bathtub with my nook.


    I've mentioned before that I'm involved in a sketch group with Trevor and some other ComedySportz guys, which has been a lot of work and a really good time. We had our first show on Thursday, and it went really well. We had an excellent turnout and I've only heard good things from the audience. It's been a really fun/frustrating/exciting thing to be a part of and I'm eager to see what the future brings for our little Oppressive Comic Dynasty. I definitely felt like an outsider when things were getting started (everyone else is male and had performed improv together and I was "Trevor's wife"), but I don't worry about that at all anymore. I've had plenty of important contributions to the writing, directing, acting, props, costumes, marketing, etc. of our show. Like everyone else. It's a terrific group. I'm really glad to be a part of it.

    I also started taking the beginner improv workshops at ComedySportz which are awful and a blast. I am a pretty deliberate sort of person and improv is very much out of my comfort zone. I have no worries about being funny enough or smart enough, but being quick enough and confident enough is another matter. I look forward to workshop all week and then hate it most of the time I'm there. I've had some excellent moments but they're scattered throughout a lot of fumbling. Which is what everyone else does at that level, I suppose, but still. It's been good for me to realize that it's not a huge deal to look like a fool in front of people. That's probably my personal #1 take-away.

    And I still go to most of Trevor's shows (every Thursday night and many Friday and Saturday nights) because I'd rather be laughing in a crowd than sitting at home feeling guilty that I'm not doing housework or writing. Never guilty enough to actually do anything, but guilty enough that I never truly relax.


    Temperature regulation of the water is the hardest part. I'm constantly draining water and adding more warmth. But I've mastered it to a point that I'll comfortably spend up to three hours in there at a time.

    I got a nook a few months ago and have been reading quite a bit more since. Lately, I've been reading at the rate I read before the internet was a major presence in my life which is...a lot. I'm behind on my television shows and I don't know what redditor's wife is talking about anymore. People say this is good because reading is supposedly better for you, but it does cut in socially somewhat. You can't read a book with someone like you can watch TV with them. It's much harder to find someone who has read the book you're reading to talk to than to find someone you can talk to about any given TV show or internet meme or whatever. And the internet in general is a social place, of course....but meh, who needs people? Not I.

    I've had a rule for quite a while that I always alternate between non-fiction and fiction for my book reading so that I never get in a rut. But if we look at the last six books I've read, there's a definite pattern. All my non-fiction books have been about and/or written by Saturday Night Live alumni, and all my fiction books have been part of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. Sketch comedy has just been on the mind and SNL is the most written-about sketch comedy entity. And I just wanted to know what happens next after watching the first season of Game of Thrones on television so...
    • Bossypants by Tina Fey
    • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
    • Gasping for Airtime by Jay Mohr
    • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
    • Live From New York: An Uncensored History of SNL  by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller
    • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
    Note to those who are worried about me ruining my nook with hours of reading in the water (a known enemy to electronics): I've been reading in bathtubs for years and the only time there was a book-ruined-by-water incident was back in high school. I was very sleepy and blame everything on Herman Melville and early-morning seminary. As long as I can avoid those things, we're good.

    Feb 18, 2012

    Yay! I'm Married Again!

    As you may or may not know, I am a horrible person and lost my wedding ring ages ago. I haven't been wearing one for the last year-and-a-half.

    But I was saved when my darling husband got me a new ring for my birthday in November. Unfortunately it was the wrong size and it has been just sitting in my jewelry box for the last few months. Because we are lazy people and didn't get around to taking it in to get re-sized until recently. And of course the jeweler at the place we got it was on vacation and we had to wait a few weeks to get it taken care of (worth it to get the free re-sizing rather than taking it to another jeweler, but still...). The job is done now, though. I picked it up today and am finally wearing a ring on my wedding finger again.

    Trevor had hinted that I might be getting a new ring before my birthday and when the day came I remember thinking "Gah, I didn't really give him any guidelines.I should've told him that I don't want a diamond ring. As fond as I am of tradition, they're overpriced and colorless is so bland. I should've told him I don't want a round stone because there are so many more interesting cuts out there. I should've told him I don't want anything too sparkly. I know plenty of people like the sparkle, but it's too flashy for me."

    Trevor was way ahead of me, though. With no guidelines whatsoever, he picked out a ring that I love love love. My man knows his woman.
    Citrine is my birthstone and a color that I'm quite fond of. And I didn't even realize how much I love pear-cut stones until I got this ring. I feel like it suits me perfectly.

    And if you think my hand looks awkward and the ring looks blurry in the above photo, you should see the thirty other shots I tried. This is the best me and my camera can do.

    Jan 22, 2012

    Boulders Apartment Fire 1/22/12 Edition

    A mere 10 months after this fire, there was yet another fire in my apartment complex today. It was on the opposite end of the complex from my apartment, so I didn't notice anything until the fire was already pretty much out.
    I don't believe there was any loss of life in this one, thank Heavens, and it looks like only two apartments have been destroyed, but it's still a shame. And a little scary. Aside from the Mar '11 fire, there was a big fire in Jan '09 can't possibly be normal to have so many fires in one complex is it?
    I haven't seen anything in the news about this fire yet and the people I talked to outside the building weren't sure of a cause. I'm anxious to find out what the cause would be. I'll keep you posted.
    But first, a shower. My hair smells like smoke.

    Jan 15, 2012

    Welcome, Isabella!

    If you were thought we were crazy for having four cats in our house, you can just stop reading immediately. There is now a fifth. There has actually been a fifth since late November, but only since yesterday have I felt okay about permanently calling her our cat.

    The only time I feel like we have too many cats is when people ask how many cats we have. It's like growing up in a large family; it never really felt that big because everybody in my family belonged there. These are all our pets. I have the time to give each cat individual attention every day, cat food and litter aren't particularly expensive and they all seem happy to be here. Besides, Khufu is Tylor's cat and will be moving out soon and four cats in a household isn't that much, right?

    We found Isabella one night shortly before Thanksgiving meowing and meowing outside our front door. She acted lost and hungry. I brought out a handful of cat food which she was very excited to have. I found out shortly thereafter that Tylor had fed her a little bit earlier that day, as well. I pet her after she ate and she responded very affectionately. She was even happy to let me pick her up. And she just had these sweet pitiful eyes. I had to bring her inside and make her mine. We started calling her Isabella and she fit in immediately. The other cats didn't have nearly as much trouble getting used to her as they did with Khufu (I'm guessing because she's female?), and she hasn't tried to leave our house since.
    She's so pretty.
    I did feel a little bad about taking her in because you never know if there's some family out there lamenting the loss of their cat. She seemed fairly abandoned, but you never know. I knew that if we did find her original family, it would be the right thing to return her to them (I always assumed she had people before us; she's far too affectionate to be feral).

    Yesterday I was out getting the mail and overheard a couple neighbors discussing a cat that looked somewhat similar to Isabella: "Yeah, the whole litter had fluffy tails like that." I inquired, and yes, this was Isabella's sister. One of the women said that she had taken two of the kittens into her house, but "my roommates made me kick out the grey and white one because she had litter box problems." When I told her we've been taking care of her she was like "Yeah, just keep her." So she is ours now, officially. And that lady is a piece of crap for just kicking a kitten out of her house to fend for herself. (As a note, we've never had litter box problems with Isabella, so I don't know what the deal was there.)

    Things to love about Isabella: Her fur is bunny-rabbit-soft. She starts purring the second anyone touches her. She loves to play and keeps Khufu busy with endless kitten battles. Her meow sounds like a bird chirping. She has natural eyeliner. She has super long whiskers that tickle your face when she's being cuddly.
    Kitten Battle #567
    Trevor and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary a few days ago. We have (roughly speaking) added one cat to our family each year of our marriage thus far. It'll be awesome when we've been married 25 years.

    If the cats were the Spice Girls:
    Baby - Tiberius
    Ginger - Julius
    Posh - Isabella
    Scary - Khufu
    Sporty - Fidel

    Jan 8, 2012

    Top 10 Books of 2011

    1. Bossypants by Tina Fey

    A highly enjoyable and quick read, this autobiography (kind of) had me laughing from beginning to end. Like every other woman in America, I'm sure I'd be best friends with Tina Fey if just given the chance.

    Stylistically, Fey interrupts her overall story frequently: to give a discourse on the rules of impov, to write a love letter to Amy Poehler, to respond to random posts about her on the internet. There are transcripts from bits of SNL and 30 Rock episodes here and there that I felt were a bit space-filling cop-out (You already wrote these! Or: You didn't even write these!), but I suppose they make sense to have for readers who aren't as familiar with Fey's work but are still reading her book for some reason? The jumpy nature of the book felt a little gimmicky at first, but as I got going, I was a fan. The trick is to approach the book not as the autobiography that it's advertised to be, but as a comedy.

    Personally, I had a high interest in the subject matter, as a first-hand account of a career path my Trevor hopes to take. In regard to that, I would've appreciated a little more detail on her Chicago improv years (there was some good stuff, but I would've loved more), but I understand why she'd focus more on 30 Rock and Sarah Palin...things that more of her readers would be interested in.

    I was bugged, however, by how much she talked about how unattractive she is. I can appreciate self-depreciation now and then (particularly in an autobiographical setting where it's easy to start sounding full of yourself) but come on. You may have once looked like this/this/this, but now you look like this/this/this, so get over it. Most women your age would love to look like you. You can't make some joke about how ugly you are ever other page and look like you do, I'm sorry. If you feel like looks shouldn't matter as much as they do in television/film, why are you dedicating so much page space to them? 

    Also, the book cover picture freaks me out a little. I get the message they're going for, but I'm still glad I was reading this on a Nook and didn't have to look at the cover every time I picked it up to read.

    All and all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the thing and if/when Tina Fey writes something again, I'm sure I'll be reading it. The comedic value alone makes this book worthwhile, but I also enjoyed learning about a person I admire and a business I have a lot of interest in.

    2. Bossypants is the only book that came out in 2011 that I've read.

    What? I had TV to watch.
    How I spent my 2011.

    Jan 4, 2012

    2012 Resolutions

    Welcome, 2012! The year I will exercise more and be more generous and save more money and keep my house cleaner and be more productive at work and keep in better contact with my family/friends and consume only the most-worth-my-time when it comes to literature/film/television/music and eat a perfectly-balanced diet and I will be healthy and beautiful and intelligent and everyone will love me but I won't be doing it for their love, I'll be doing it because I am Good.

    I will write more. For this blog, oh the glorious posts you will ponder and laugh about and cry over this year! For sketch group, I will be an infinite pool of cleverness! For America, I will write a novel so great that Salinger and Fitzgerald and Melville and Twain and Faulkner and Steinbeck will all rise from their graves for the sole purpose of dying again in shame! I'm sure that novel's here somewhere in this folder of rough outlines and four-page introductions that I start when I'm excited about an idea but never actually want to do the grunt work on.

    Like many of you, I enjoy the tradition of setting resolutions at the beginning of the year and then promptly forgetting them. It is wonderful to imagine a great new year ahead of you, but when it comes down to living each day individually, it's much simpler to live 2012 in much the same way as 2011. Feeling guilty is such a drag.

    2011 Resolutions Status Check

    Last year I said something about eating out less. If it came down to a count, it is probable that 2011 had less eating out than 2010, though I certainly didn't stick to the only-twice-a-week rule. I think will scratch the less-eating-out goal for the upcoming year and instead just focus on eating as healthily and cheaply as I realistically can without worrying about if I personally prepared it or not. Spending a lot of time and thought on food is just not something I care about enough to do.

    Around February 2011, I also set a goal to save a certain amount of money per month which was soon modified to "just spend less than we make each month." Our employment situation turned out to be much different than originally anticipated as the year went on and we didn't exactly do too hot.
    Money Earned - Money Spent by Month
    Came out ahead overall but not by nearly as much as I would've liked. Those summer months when I was working very few hours and then unemployed took a nice bite into our savings.

    I have no idea what was going on in March. My first thought was tax return, but then I remembered we only got like $40 back last year. We even took a Vegas trip that month that cost us a fair amount of money. No idea. Hopefully more months like that in the future, though.

    2012 Resolutions in Order of Seriousness
    1. Save as much money as possible. - Hopefully 2012 will be better than 2011. Particularly with a Spring '13 Move to Chicago in the official non-existent plan book, we need all the money saved up that we can. As long as I can hold down my job, doing some serious money saving should be completely doable this year. Comedy income has been more regular for Trevor these last few months and hopefully sketch group will bring in some money before the year is over. Tylor, who has been living with us since July, should be on his own soon which will lower our food and utility expenses. I've been working my new job for three months now and hopefully hopefully hopefully I'll be working there steadily until the move. It's a much more stable company than my old job, so I don't worry about layoffs, but they're pretty strict about performance numbers and I'm not doing as well as I'd like to be. I think getting out of the holidays and into tax season will make it easier to get payments in the coming months and I'm getting better at being pushy with debtors, so we'll see how things go. The job thing is definitely the biggest cause of stress in my life currently. I'm not used to being bad at my job. Granted, my last job toward the end mostly consisted of messaging Trapper with the occasional drinking of water and going to the bathroom, but I was good at it!
    2. Get involved in community service. - It was easy to do community service on a regular basis when I was in high school and there were service clubs and church groups I was involved in. I've done very little by the way of service since 2004 or so, however, and I think it's time to do a little more on that count. There's a community center less than a block away from my apartment that always has stuff going on, so I really have no excuse. I'm going to have to do some research and figure out a worthwhile way to get more involved. If you're doing better than me on this count and have ideas, let me know. I'm pretty serious about this one.
    3. Do something to build credit. - I've never had a credit card and always paid cash for any cars or college tuition I've had, so I'm pretty sure the only thing I've got on my credit report is a cell phone bill I was past-due on for a couple months in 2007. Which combined with nothing is likely enough to make me fail any application for a loan or whatever people use credit for. I can't imagine why I would actually need a loan for anything in the near future, but it'll matter big when it matters someday, I suppose. It's silly to me that my having superb bill-paying history for the last few years doesn't count for anything and I have to borrow money to build anything. Even with a credit card, it just makes me feel icky. But it needs to be done. Because I really haven't been taking this whole credit thing seriously. It's something for adults to worry about, right? Oh. I guess I'm one of those now. Oh. I guess I should've started thinking about this when I was 18. Oops. If any of you have any advice on getting started on this, I'm all ears. I'm thinking about some sort of secured credit card because then you're only borrowing against yourself and I'd assume they're easier to get. I don't know why I'm so debt-averse; I remember when I was a kid and my mom explained to me what a mortgage was and I was horrified that my parents had done one of those because didn't they know they'd owe money for a long time? I understand now, of course, but there's just something inside of me that really doesn't like that kind of thing.
    4. Eat more healthfully. - No specific rules. Just think about the nutrition of the things I consume more often and give it more weight when making decisions about what to eat. I think I've been better about that the last year or so than in the past and I'll hopefully continue that trend.
    5. Keep better in touch with friends/family. - This will probably end up being reflected in lame things like more blog posts, but that's better than nothing, yes?
    6. Invest more time in making my apartment look nice. - I really like the idea of a clean and well-decorated house. I very rarely experience that, though. I pretty much only bother getting my house into live-able condition for parties, in which case the place is immediately trashed. I'd like to dedicate more time each week to both household chores and doing projects to add more personality to the place.
    7. Exercise more. -  I won't do it, of course. But we'll throw it on here because it would be good for me and I like to imagine a world where I exercise.
    8. Learn how to spell "exercise". - Even after spell-check got me with the first one, I spelled it wrong again a mere two sentences later. Maybe this will be the year I get it down!
    9. Buy more dresses. - I would be willing to wager there are more dresses in my closet than any one of yours, but I need more. Always.